Before You Start…

What do you do before you start any weight loss program?

So, you’ve found the perfect weight loss program for yourself and you’re ready to get started! Congratulations! Assuming you’ve chosen a realistic and healthy way to get control of your weight and your health the process should be successful. However, there are a few things you should always do before embarking on any new regime, especially if you already have underlying health issues.

Ask your doctor — Let your doctor know that you’re going to start a new lifestyle. Do this to inform the doctor but also to ensure that your choice is a good one for you. Everyone is different and has different nutritional requirements. This is especially true if you are using any medications such as diabetes meds or blood pressure meds. If you’ve picked a healthy way to lose weight such as adding in more fruits and veggies, eliminating processed foods and counting calories you’ll find that your doctor will be very supportive.

Set Goals — Now that you have your doctor’s approval it’s time to set some reasonable goals. Remember that when you set a goal it needs to be challenging but possible. It’s also important to write down your goals in a substantial way. Don’t just write, “I want to lose weight.” Instead, write down exactly how much weight you want to lose in total, then move backwards on the calendar to figure out how much you’ll need to lose monthly and weekly to reach your goal. Then also write down how you’ll reach that goal. By filling in your calendar with exactly what you’ll do you’re automatically creating a step by step guide to get you to your goal!

Assess Yourself — You can’t set good goals without knowing where you stand today. Much like setting your monthly financial budget you’re going to need to find out where you stand right now compared to where you want to be. It’s a good idea to write down the numbers so that you can periodically check to see that you’re being successful. You don’t need to do anything too fancy, just write down in a notebook (or use your computer) to track your current measurements and weight. Then once a month or so check your progress and write it down so that you can track what is happening. It’s a good idea to also take a picture of yourself so that you can see for yourself how it’s all working for you. Oftentimes our minds don’t catch up to the change in our body without seeing it.

Plan for Success — Don’t forget to plan each week’s meals in advance. Have plans in place for parties, socializing, and guests. The thing is, you’re doing this for life, not for a certain time until you lose weight. Instead, this is your new life so plan in “cheats” that fit into your new healthy lifestyle instead of depriving yourself. If you know your best friend is getting married in a couple of months, save up calories and plan for enjoying that day, otherwise you’ll fall off the wagon and punish yourself with more bad choices.

3 Tips To Help You Stick To Your New Year’s Resolutions

Although many of us start the New Year full of hope and excitement for making things happen, many of us quickly give up on our goals and wait until the next year to even think about them again. But we set resolutions for a reason, and that’s because we hope they can improve our lives in some way. So if you want to set goals you can keep this year, here are three tips to help you make it happen.

  1. Set Realistic Goals That You Really Can KeepThe first place to start is with your goals. Are they realistic? Are they honestly, honestly something that you can see yourself achieving in the coming year? By all means, push yourself with your goals, but do it within the limits of what’s possible! Planning to work out for 2 hours every single day probably isn’t realistic for most people, nor is it realistic to think that you’ll cut out all sweet food completely if you like your sweet treats.It’s also important to ensure you don’t try too many things at once. By all means, plan to improve your guitar playing skills, to get healthier, and to learn a new language, but try focusing on just one goal to begin with. Once you’ve made the first goal a habit, or reached the milestone you were aiming for, you can move onto the second.
  2. Understand The Way You FeelAlthough not all our New Year’s resolutions are about giving something up, understanding the way you feel about things like overeating, or other habits you may have, is crucial to seeing your goal through to the end. If you’re trying to give up drinking, or a certain type of food, understand that cravings come and go like waves, and do the best you can to learn about what triggers your cravings so that you can avoid them.The same goes with things like exercise. Think about how you feel when you can’t be bothered to exercise, and put it off until tomorrow – you probably feel like you let yourself down. But when you do exercise, not only are you happy that you’re meeting your goal, but you may even get a rush off those endorphins!
  3. Reward Yourself, Don’t Punish YourselfWe tend to work better when we’re working towards certain rewards, rather than avoiding punishments. So decide on some ways to reward yourself for completing goals. Instead of berating yourself and feeling guilty for not doing something, think of how you’ll feel and what you’ll do when you do something you want to do. Pick milestones relating to your goals, such as 1 month without a drink, or 5 days of exercising every day, and give yourself something nice as a reward (a new CD, a nice meal etc.) Rewards are far better motivators than fear!

Family Resolution: Agree to Set Healthier Habits this New Year

The acorn doesn’t fall far from the tree. Like mother like daughter. A chip off the old block. Children learn what they live.

While those are cliché, trite phrases, there is much truth to them. Comedians joke that if you want to see what your wife will look like in forty years, look at her mother.

Whether intentional or not, generational traits are passed down from parents to children. If mom and dad live a fairly healthy lifestyle, odds are much greater that the children will follow suit. Conversely, if the head of the household believes being on a diet means skipping the super size fries and adding extra lettuce to the fast food burger, we can surmise the outlook that the children will hold.

There is no time like the present to turn the sinking ship around. New Years is the perfect time to make a family resolution ñ agree to set healthier habits. One can’t do it without the support of others, so the entire family might as well jump on board.

The easiest change a family can start with is in food consumption. Obviously you’ll need to incorporate exercise into the habits; however starting with food is a small step with measurable results. Simply do not bring junk food into the house. If you have chips, soda and ice cream available, would you really be able to just have some grapes? More than anything you will need a change of mindset.

Sit down at the table as a family and get input from everyone. Talk about the health risks, talk about wanting to be around for the children for years to come. Make an agreement that there will be no closet eating. Agree to look for creative recipes so that it doesn’t seem like you’re eating rabbit food.

Forcing or demanding healthier habits is formula for failure. If you can make other family members feel that they are part of the decision and truly understand the importance of it, positive results will be easier to achieve.

Hold each other accountable. Give son permission to question mom why she’s eating a donut. Agree to support, not ridicule. Accept digressions as temporary set backs, not failures. Agree that failure is not an option. Keep on keeping on.

Understanding Calories

What calories really are and how understanding them aids in weight loss

In order to lose weight it is important to be aware of your caloric intake as well as what your ideal caloric intake is for the weight you want to be. It’s pretty easy to determine this number. First a definition:

BMR — Basic Metabolic rate which is how many calories you need just to live without losing weight or gaining weight or doing any activities.

Now the formulas:

BMR for women — BMR = 65.5 + (4.35 x weight in lbs) + (4.7 x height in inches) – (4.7 x age in years)

BMR for men — BMR = 66 + (6.2 x weight in lbs) + (12.7 x height in inches) – (6.67 x age in years)

An Example:

I’ll do one for you for our 5.5 inch 140 lb female who wants to maintain her weight at her current weight. She is 35 years old.

65.5 + (4.35 x 140) + (4.7 x 66) – (4.7 x 35)

65.5 + (609) + (310.2) – (164.5)

BRM = 820.2

Now you take this number and you use a chart which is located here BMR Chart. This chart lists the multiplication factor based on exercise level. Our 35 year old woman is moderately active in that she exercises 3 to 5 days per week. This means we take her BMR and multiply it by 1.55 to get the calories she should ingest each day to maintain her current weight.

820.2 x 1.55 = 1272 (rounded up) calories

First of all, I’m sure at first glance you’re shocked at how few calories the average woman who exercises needs to maintain her weight without gaining weight. It’s also shocking to realize that most people eat double and triple this amount today due to the proliferation of fast foods and because of our busy lives. But, once you realize the relationship to calories to weight, you can use this as your daily budget to lose weight. If you weigh more than you desire, plug in the weight you want to be to get your number.

By choosing fiber rich, and water rich foods to eat you won’t have to be deprived even on a diet consisting of 1272 calories a day. Eliminate empty calories such as cakes, crackers, and candy and substitute low calorie healthy foods such as whole veggies and fruit to avoid feelings of deprivation and also to ensure that you get enough vitamins and minerals each day within your calorie budget. You must eat the amount of calories your body needs and no more or they’ll be stored as extra weight. It’s simple, calories in, calories out. No matter what the diet gurus say, it really is that simple.

When you start paying attention to the calorie and nutritional content of foods that you eat, you’ll find that you want to eat healthier foods over the processed and refined foods full of empty calories. The main reason is that as you give your body optimal nutrition, you will notice that you have fewer hunger pangs. Yes, you will still experience cravings, but learn to substitute healthy foods in place of the old cravings and soon you’ll find that they are greatly reduced because most cravings are due to a lack of nutrition, and as you give your body what it really needs you’ll experience more satisfaction in your diet.

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Healthy Families

Words Of Encouragement

This is an inspirational story that any parent should read…

One of the best benefits of learning how to eat to fuel my body, as a mom, was learning what a healthy plate looks like.

At Tony Horton Fitness Camps in the days of old, Tony used to talk about the important fuels for your body: lean protein, healthy fats, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.

FamilyWhen we first started on this health and fitness journey, I cleaned out all my cupboards and fridge of the bad stuff that I’d allowed to creep in, and replaced it with the healthy stuff listed in my new food journal provided with the Team Beachbody Club. That was a big deal for me, because it was a commitment with my pocketbook! I used the expression “Say no to yourself once: at the grocery store!” that I’d learned from another member in my Beachbody Challenge Group. That saying made sense to me, and I wanted to teach my kids the same thing. Rather than me having m&m’s in a bag that they ask me for 10 times throughout the day, not even having them on the shelves was a few less “no”’s I had to tell my kids. It helped me get creative in making the snacks fun, and the meals tasty!

My kids really resisted at first. Well, the older ones. They were grumpy that the junk food they’d grown accustomed to were no longer an option. Oh, I’m all about moderation, and they still had desserts, and sweet foods, but I changed their options for the more healthy counterparts: Fat free yogurt instead of go-gurts, lime Perrier (“bubble water”) in place of soda, thin crust, light cheese & veggie pizza instead of the thick crust, oozing cheese pepperoni pizza’s of old. We had tons of different fruits, and instead of calorie laden casserole’s we had grilled chicken, lots of veggies and instead of white rice, we had whole grain rice and quinoa and bulgar. Havent tried em? Neither had I until I found the Beachbody Club and then I was hooked on these new flavors! In fact, my kids actually (and this is the truth!) used to say “Brussel Sprouts? Yay! Thanks Mom!” It sounds so fake and cheeseball, but they really love brussel sprouts – a veggie I’d never made before then. Because the truth is, healthy foods DO taste good, and its possible to re-train our habits and taste buds.

Oh, we still have soda, and ice cream every now and again, just not every day or week, and you know what? My kids are healthy, strong, and adjusted. So be encouraged if you are just starting on your journey to a healthier family – with time and consistency, and open, honest communication, ie: “I cant in good conscience give to you what I know now to be so unhealthy for you, son.” your kids WILL adjust and when they’re adults they’ll thank you. When they do, you can pat yourself on the back knowing you did the hard, but right thing by your family.

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Shakeology Review

A guest post from 12 Star Diamond and founding coach, Traci Morrow When Shakeology was added to our exclusive Beachbody Coach store, it made a lot of sense to me: the idea of a meal replaced with a shake that in effect, filled in the large gaps of my present diet’s nutrition. An unhealthy accumulation of days – even years – stacked up where my body wasn’t getting what I was needing and I felt it. Tired, feeling run down from my busy life, and out of time to prepare what I thought I needed – or did I even know what that was? Fruits that don’t taste all that great anymore because they’re pulled from the trees or vines too early for mass crops, vegetables that came from a frozen bag and devoid of flavor as well. I’m a terrible pill taker, so my multivitamin consumption was more hit than miss. A shake that “acted like a salad but tasted like a dessert” is what it said, and as a protein shake consumer, I was game.

Shakeology turned out to be far more than I knew to hope for. A complete system: two workouts (30 and 50 minutes), a month of recipes for both flavors, and a meal plan (through the Club) for how to incorporate the shake into my day? This wasn’t just a meal replacement shake that was going to require me to figure out how to incorporate it into my day – this was a lifestyle shift and one I desperately needed if I wanted to LIVE healthy. I love being able to speak from personal experience of how the Shakeology system has helped me regain energy, and have everyone I love on it! My 70+ year old parents, my 86 year old father in law, my siblings, my teenagers, and my 6 & 7 year olds love it too. All ages, both genders; experiencing health in a shake and a lifestyle shift that helps “End the Trend” of obesity, fast food diets, and highly processed foods that harm our generation..starting with us. ☺ If you’d like to try Shakeology for free, ask for a free sample and I’ll be happy to send you one!

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These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
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